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How to Recycle Bras and Other Tips on Going Green

These recycling oddities might surprise you.

Go beyond cans, bottles and cardboard to get creative with recycling.

Napa Recycling and Waste Services, 707-255-5200, has information and resources on recycling many household items.

But just in case you have lingering questions on ...ahem... "other items," that you may not have considered recycling, here are some tips on how to make it happen:

Bras

Bras aren't exactly biodegradable, but gently used lingerie is a welcome donation for The Bra Recyclers. So long as the clasps and straps work, just wash the bra, fill out a form and send it off.

Slivers of Soap

Some hotels save partially-used bars of soap to re-purpose it and donate it to the needy. Or keep your own soap slivers and put them into the foot of an old pantyhose to create a DIY a soap-on-a-rope.

Running Shoes

Runners can log a lot of miles enjoying the trails surrounding Napa. Shoes wear out after about 500 miles, but don't toss them in the trash. Several programs recycle used running shoes.

Some ship lesser-used kicks to Third World countries, while companies including Nike will deconstruct the shoe and recycle the materials.

Learn about the process of recycling used running shoes atwww.nikereuseashoe.com.

Here are some other links for recycling running shoes:

http://www.soles4souls.org/about/locations?zip=95065 http://oneworldrunning.blogspot.com/p/drop-off-locations.html
http://www.recycledrunners.com/drop-off-locations-map/#map_top

Hair

Let your hair grow out, then get chop it off and make a donation to Locks of Love. The nonprofit provides hairpieces to children younger than 21 who suffer from a long-term illness that affects their hair growth.

CDs

For those who still have CDs, re-purpose them outdoors. Their mirror-like properties are a great deterrent for birds, so hang them around a garden or fruit trees to deter pilfering. Old CDs also make great decor for trees, so save a stack for the holiday season.

Mattresses

An old mattress will sleep in a landfill for about 50 years. Luckily, San Leandro-based DR3 Recycling parts out old mattresses and recycles the cotton, wood, steel and foam. DR3's yard is in Oakland, but there are other spots in the Bay Area where mattresses left behind will be recycled.

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V_Therese February 25, 2013 at 11:11 PM
What do the charities do with unwearable/worn out items? I usually put them in with my other usable donations in hopes that those charities have access to a recycling program.
MICHAEL P WILSON "Independent Kid" February 26, 2013 at 01:52 AM
I throw all my trash in the recycling bin have for years. You can Recycle Most household trash. It is a win win I do not get a bill the recycling plant gets a government hand out.
Mary February 26, 2013 at 05:22 PM
I have been wondering about that, too. If anyone has an answer, please post.

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